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Gov’t Bans Commercial Tree Cutting In Gulu

Charcoal Being Burnt

By Ivan Tolit

The Ministry of Water and Environment has directed authorities in Gulu District to ban commercial tree cutting and charcoal burning.

The ban follows a worrying trend in depleting natural forests within the district.

In a letter dated January 11, 2023, the State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar ordered Gulu District officials to stop issuing any new trading license to commercial charcoal dealers.

According to the Minister, the new directive is in line with the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act 2003.

She also noted that despite the ban issued by the government in 2018, leaders in Gulu have defied the directives.

Minister Anywar described Gulu as the epicenter of the massive environmental degradation.

Simon Wokorach, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aswa County in Gulu District welcomed the ban adding that it will save the environment from being destroyed by selfish individuals.

In 2019 The Joint Acholi Sub Regional Leaders’ Forum – JSRLF comprising of the eight districts in the Acholi sub-region drafted the bill titled, ‘THE ACHOLI SUSTAINABLE CHARCOAL PRODUCTION AND MARKETING BILL, 2019’.

It consists of 11 parts, with others seeking to prohibit the use of destructive methods of charcoal production, unlicensed production of charcoal as well as taxing charcoal production and transportation from the Acholi sub-region.

Acholi sub-region descended into a Charcoal production crisis in 2010 as displaced residents left camps for internally displaced persons for home.

Several natural forest covers have been depleted as demands skyrocketed in Kampala and neighbouring Kenya where commercial Charcoal production has been abolished by government.

In Acholi sub-region, Gulu and Amuru District have lost half of their forest covers since 1990 with more than 5,000 bags of charcoal removed from one district every week.

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